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Latest Developments in Ukraine: April 3

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A local woman salutes Ukrainian service members, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Chernihiv region, April 2, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

For the latest developments of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, all times EDT:

11:30 p.m.: There have been 3,455 civilian casualties since Russa’s invasion of Ukraine according to the latest figures published Sunday by the United Nation’s human rights office. The report said 1,417 civilians were killed, including121 children and 2,038 were injured, including 171 children.

“Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes,” the report said.

10:19 p.m.: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a video message at the Grammy Awards to ask for support in telling the story of Ukraine's invasion by Russia, The Associated Press reported. During the message that aired on the show Sunday, he likened the invasion to a deadly silence threatening to extinguish the dreams and lives of the Ukrainian people, including children. “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them,” he said. “But the music will break through anyway.”

The Recording Academy, with its partner Global Citizen, prior to the ceremony highlighted a social media campaign called “Stand Up For Ukraine” to raise money and support during the humanitarian crisis.

3:50 p.m.: The U.S. embassy in Kyiv is condemning as “horrific” images of civilians killed in Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital. “We can not stand quiet, the world needs to know what happened, and we all must act,” the embassy said in a Twitter post.

Ukrainian authorities say civilians were killed by Russian forces. Russia denies this and has requested the U.N. Security Council convene Monday to discuss “blatant provocation by Ukrainian radicals,” according to Reuters.

1:30 p.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expressing shock at the images from Bucha, adding, “It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.”

12:47 p.m.: The United States will give Moldova $50 million to help it cope with the impacts of Russia's war against Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced during a visit to the former Soviet republic on Sunday. “Today, I was able to see firsthand the way your government and the Moldovan people have come together to embrace Ukrainian refugees – most of them women and children -- who have been forced to leave behind everything they have and people they love to flee to safety,” said Thomas-Greenfield at a joint press conference with Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita in Chisinau.

11:46 a.m.: Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, 45, was killed trying to flee Ukraine's city of Mariupol besieged by the Russians, the Ukrainian military said Sunday, according to AFP. "While trying to leave #Mariupol, the occupiers killed Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravicius, who is the author of the documentary Mariupolis," the defense ministry's information agency wrote on Twitter. Russian filmmaker Vitali Manski, who founded Artdocfest, a film festival in Moscow that had previously invited Kvedaravicius, also announced the death.

11:00 a.m.: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is topping the agenda as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Brussels later this week to meet with NATO foreign ministers, the State Department announced Sunday.

10:30 a.m.: Pope Francis has called for prayers for Ukraine during an April 3 Mass during the second day of his visit to Malta, RFE/RL reported. “Let us pray for peace and remember the humanitarian tragedy of martyred Ukraine,” the pontiff said, calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “sacrilegious war.” A day earlier, Francis, 85, said he was considering an invitation to visit the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko earlier extended the invitation to the pope.

9:50 a.m.: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told CNN that Russia's pullback of troops from Kyiv is not a real withdrawal but rather a repositioning that could be followed by further attacks. The comments come as the Ukrainian military says Russian troops have completed their pullback from the country’s north. According to AP, the military’s General Staff said in Sunday’s statement that Russian units have withdrawn from areas in the country’s north to neighboring Belarus, which served as a staging ground for the Russian invasion.

9:15 a.m.: The Kremlin says that by imposing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin the West has demonstrated it has abandoned its sense of reason. According to AP, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks Sunday that the sanctions against Putin were going “beyond the edge of reason,” adding that they showed that the West is “capable of any stupidities.”

8:50 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russian forces of committing “genocide” in his country. He told CBS News that the country is being “destroyed and exterminated” by Russian forces.

8:00 a.m.: Human Rights Watch says it has documented several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations against civilians in occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv regions of Ukraine. In a report released Sunday, the group said these violations include a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the other of one man; and other cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians between February 27 and March 14, 2022. Russia has not responded to the allegations.

7:30 a.m.: European Council President Charles Michel says Russia will face “further EU sanctions” following reports of possible war crimes committed by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. RFE/RL has the details.

6:43 a.m.: Reports from Odesa, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, say a Russian missile strike on an Odesa oil refinery has destroyed the facility. A Russian defense ministry said in a statement, "This morning, high-precision sea and air-based missiles destroyed an oil refinery and three storage facilities for fuel and lubricants near the city of Odessa, from which fuel was supplied to a group of Ukrainian troops.

5:34 a.m.: The U.K.'s latest Ministry of Defense intelligence update said that Russia has blockaded the Ukrainian coast in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. "Russia still retains the capability to attempt an amphibious landing but such an operation is likely to be increasingly high risk due to the time Ukrainian forces have had to prepare," the update said.

5:17 a.m.: The Washington Post reported that the Ukrainian Embassy in London is buying 30 armored ambulances with donated funds.

4:52 a.m.: A group of Russians and Ukrainians who have immigrated to the U.S. and live in Los Angeles have flown to Hungary to help Ukrainian refugees there. Marina Ratina, ex-producer of the popular cartoon series Masha and the Bear, is among them. VOA's Angelina Bagdasaryan has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.

4:29 a.m.: The New York Times reported that seven evacuation buses will try to get to the besieged city of Mariupol on Sunday.

4 a.m.: The BBC reported that Russia disputes Ukraine's contention that peace talks had advanced far enough for the presidents of Russia and Ukraine to meet.

3 a.m.: The friendship of Ukrainian musician Valeriya Sholokhova and Russian musician Nikita Morozov transcends the fighting between their countries. For VOA News, Iacopo Luzi has the story.

Russian and Ukrainian Musicians Find Harmony in Music
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1:59 a.m.: CNN reports that a fuel depot in Odesa, Ukraine, is ablaze after an apparent Russian strike.

12:22 a.m.: The BBC reported that loud explosions were being heard around Odesa, Ukraine, early Sunday. On Facebook, Odesa regional military official Serhiy Bratchuk wrote, "We will overcome. Hell to enemies!"

12:01 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his nation's troops are shelling the Russians as they retreat, The Associated Press reported. "They are destroying everyone they can," he said.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters

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